Concord, NH - House and Senate Democrats stood united in opposition to the reckless Republican takeover of Medicare in New Hampshire: HB1560. The bill would turn Medicare, Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program(CHIP) and other federally funded health care initiatives into a block grant and attempt to nullify federal health care laws.
"In short, this bill will end Medicare as we know it in New Hampshire," said Senator Sylvia Larsen. "Surely you don't have to be a doctor to see this is a disastrous plan for health care in our state."
The bill proposes that New Hampshire fundamentally alter not only the state's Medicare and Medicaid programs but potentially all health care services for which there is federal funding. Collectively they would be replaced with a block grant system with full discretion for distributing those funds and determining who is eligible for them in the hands of the legislature. In tough economic times when Medicaid participation typically increases, New Hampshire taxpayers would see their tax rates skyrocket.
"HB1560 is not only fiscally irresponsible, it could also endanger the health of New Hampshire's senior citizens, disabled and low income residents by removing the requirements to cover proven treatments and disease prevention services. At least 350,000 New Hampshire residents would lose the stability of their Medicare and Medicaid coverage," said Representative Cindy Rosenwald.
While sponsored by members of Republican leadership in both the House and Senate, HB1560 was written by ALEC an extreme out of state special interest group. In opposition to the United State Constitution the bill text reads, states "may suspend by legislation the operation of all federal laws, rules, regulations, and orders regarding health care."
"This bill is part of a national, ideological driven, agenda to shrink government regardless of the consequences," said Representative Gary Richardson. "Over the past 12 months we have watched first hand as the Tea Party Republicans have imposed taxes on hospitals providing Medicaid services and cut state services resulting in the lost of nearly 2,000 jobs. This is not the New Hampshire way."
For a complete copy of the legislator's remarks at today's press conference email firstname.lastname@example.org.